ERIC Number: ED237419
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Children's Attitudes, Knowledge and Behaviors Toward Animals. Phase V.
Kellert, Stephen R.; Westervelt, Miriam O.
The basic objectives of this research, which involved children in the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th grades, were to describe children's uses and perceptions of animals and to discern possible developmental stages in the evolution of attitudes toward animals. Personal interviews were conducted with 267 children from 16 public schools randomly selected from urban, small city, suburban, and rural areas of the state of Connecticut. Three major developmental stages in the evolution of children's perceptions of animals were found. The first stage, occurring from the 2nd to 5th grade, was characterized by a dramatic increase in emotional concern and general affection for animals. Since very young children were the most exploitative, harsh, and unfeeling of all children in their attitudes toward animals, environmental programs should focus on the affective realm. The transition from fifth to eighth grades witnessed the second major developmental stage--a major expansion in children's intellectual and cognitive understandings of animals. Therefore, factual learning should be emphasized at this stage. The third developmental stage occurred between 8th and 11th grades, during which time children's ethical concern for the welfare and kind treatment of animals increased dramatically. This stage offers the best opportunity for teaching about ethical relationships to animals and the concepts of ecology and wildlife management. (RM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Affective Behavior, Animals, Childhood Attitudes, Children, Developmental Stages, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Environmental Education, Knowledge Level, Student Attitudes
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402 ($6.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Humane Education
Note: For related document, see ED 229 241. Reports from Phase I, "Public Attitudes toward Critical Wildlife and Natural Habitat Issues" (PB-80-138332), and Phase II, Attitudes of the American Public Relating to Animals (PB-80-194-525), are available from the National Technical Information Service.